10 Tips to a Successful (and stylish!) Last-Minute Weekend Getaway

travel hacks to take on your next trip

When I saw Megan was in Mexico last weekend for a stay at the Finest Playa Mujeres, I got jealous…and then I got moving.

As snow from #Blizzard2016 swirled outside my building, I booked my husband and I on a quick getaway to Miami for the upcoming weekend in no time at all (Finding a babysitter for our little guy took longer).

Mini-vacations are downright necessary when you’re housebound and feeling snowstorm-induced stir-crazy. Thankfully, last-minute travel is easier now than ever.

Do you want to escape the cold weather, or just need a break after a stressful holiday season?

Below, 10 travel tips for a last-minute weekend getaway:

{Finest Playa Mujeres, Mexico}

1. What you NEED isn’t the same as what you WANT – so plan accordingly

Are you overworked? In need of a climate change? Want to exert your frustration/stress out on a ski slope?

Before you start looking at flights and hotels, consider what you need from these few days away. Is it relaxation? Adventure? A bit of both? Figure it out with your travel partner(s) before you start researching specific destinations.

2. Bundling is best

There’s a lot of money to be saved when you combine various parts of your trip. Look at sites and services that offer discounts when you book your flight with the hotel, add on a rental car, or excursions once you reach your destination.

3. Go all in(clusive, that is)

If what you’re looking for is an escape from cold weather in a truly relaxing, indulgent environment, consider booking a stay at an all-inclusive resort.

If you equate these destinations with watered-down drinks, less-than-impressive dining options, and not-so-nice rooms, you may be surprised at how many have upped their game in recent years. Do your research and find one with great reviews (Megan told me she loved the restaurants, room, pools, and service at the Finest Playa Mujeres), put your wallet and itinerary away, and get ready to veg.

4. Save on…

When my husband and I plan ANY trip (as in, three weeks in Asia and quick weekend getaways alike), we always fire up an Excel file and start charting out all our planned expenses, and an estimate of what we’ll spend for each category. Transportation (taxis or rental cars) are a category we always save on, searching for the least expensive option (public transportation or taxi, or day car rental). If we’re going to be exploring, we’ll opt for a cheaper hotel. Instead of souveniers, we create a photo book or print a framed picture to add to our travel wall, which saves us some extra cash.

5. Splurge on…

For us, food and experiences are the two areas where we splurge. If we get to enjoy a really amazing dinner and do something neither one of us has done before (hike the Great Wall of China and explore ancient Mayan ruins in Tulum), it’s a successful trip. Websites like Peek and Viator offer tons of activity booking options.

6. Vacation accessory math = 2 shoes + 1 bag + 1 pair of sunglasses + 1 hat

This foolproof equation guarantees you the perfect combination of accessories – for any trip! If you’re jetting to sunnier climates from your freezing home, wear a pair of casual sneakers and pack flip flops for the pool and beach. Stash your in-flight essentials in a backpack that fits neatly in the seat in front of you. A pair of sunglasses and a well-worn baseball cap finishes the vacation-ready look.

7. Carry it on your back (or your shoulder)

There’s no reason to check in a bag for a quick weekend getaway (unless said-getaway involves golf clubs or ski gear). Airlines are being increasingly strict about the carry-on suitcase dimensions. To skirt this potential issue, pack for your trip in a duffel (this one even has a shoe pocket!) or a roomy backpack. Keep calm, and always carry on.

8. Better packing with basics

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: sticking with neutral basics in the same color family makes it easy to pack and even easier to decide what to wear each day on your trip. Blacks and grays go together, as do tans and browns. Navy is a jack-of-all-shades and pairs great with both those color families. Want to inject a little color in your travel wardrobe? Do it with shirts – a bright polo for a day exploring or a patterned button-down for a dinner out.

Basics to bring:

9. Hack your winter gear packing

If you’re traveling between climates, it’s worth investing in a packable down coat that keeps you warm while taking up virtually any room. My husband loves his Uniqlo down jacket, which stuffs down into a tiny little tube. Keep your winter gear stashed in your backpack or carry-on once you get into the airport and take it out only when you’re landing back home. Check out this SG-approved step-by-step on how to pack your cold weather essentials.

10. Patience, my brave Instagram boyfriend-husband-partner

Chances are your lady friend will want to photograph everything – holding a cocktail with the beach in the background, your names written in sand, the meals you devour together. Keep calm, let her climb on the chair and take a picture, and order yourself a drink. You deserve it.



Get the inside scoop on #SGapproved travel tips and start packing!